Frequently, successful child stars become unsuccessful human beings. Drug addled and disillusioned, they often fall victim to frivolous spending and social circles of enabling yes men. But every once in a while, that talented mini person becomes a real live functioning member of society. And even less often, they evade the child star curse entirely and hit Forbes Top 100 lists. Mary Kate Olsen is one of these blue moons.
We all watched Full House. Millions of little girls worldwide then continued to keep up with the adorable sisters as they established their Dualstar empire. A slew of both wide release and straight to VHS films, clothing and accessories kept their young audiences hooked, and by the time Mary Kate and her sister Ashley hit 18 they took over the company as co-presidents. At 21 they were ranked at #11 on Forbes top 20 richest women in entertainment with a combined estimated
wealth of $100 million. They continued to work together; after each spent a few years studying at NYU they founded two clothing lines: Elizabeth & James, a mid market brand named for their other two siblings, and The Row, an extreme luxury label. And let's not forget Olsenboye, their lucrative line made exclusively for JCPenney. They've found much success in the fashion world -- unlike other celebrities who merely place their name on a product, these girls are working tooth and nail to produce their vision. In fact just last night they won the top prize at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, taking home the award for best womenswear designers for The Row. Their work together has surpassed all expectation, but their solo undertakings are not to be ignored. Mary Kate has always stood out as the edgier twin, both in fashion and nightlife choices. Known to be a party girl on the NYC circuit, MK has always somehow managed to keep an admirably low profile, even while hammered at 5am. She's a private creature, and looks to have the media cover her career in the studio on set rather than at the club. It's impressive really -- Olsen mania really kicked off when the girls hit 18 and despite the relentless paparazzi we rarely were given a true scandal about either of them. And at this point it seems the paps may have given up -- now when you see MK in a magazine it's either for one of her fashion endeavors or for her acting work. Ashley didn't pursue rolls much after their Dualstar days, but MK has taken on a couple, few, far between and carefully selected. Her role as a bible thumping stoner in Weeds
was met with high regard, and the scene in The Wackness
when she makes out with Ben Kingsley may be one of my favorite moments in cinematic history. It is rare that we find a celebrity as enigmatic as the lovely Mary Kate; with all the mystery that surrounds her we're all just left wanting more. Not to say she gives us nothing though -- we do have all of that out of the world looks that she rolls out from the sidewalk to the red carpet. Her style has always been uniquely her: forward, modern and chic. It's no wonder then that The Row's target market is supremely wealthy 30+'ers -- MK's got an eye for fashion that is far beyond her years.
[caption id="attachment_9523" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Ashley, Tommy Hilfiger & Mary Kate at the CFDA Awards 2012"]
[caption id="attachment_9529" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Cover of the September issue of Elle"]
[caption id="attachment_9532" align="aligncenter" width="309" caption="London Fashion Week at the Burberry show SS10"]
[caption id="attachment_9541" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Wackness"]
[caption id="attachment_9549" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Front row"]